It’s Yang Mei season here in China which means you only have a few weeks to pick up a kilo or two of these delicious berries. Yang Mei, 杨梅 (yángméi) or Yumberry or Chinese Bayberry (there’s a lot of different names for it) is a small dark purple edible berry that’s a bit sweet and a bit tart and a total taste explosion. It’s like a pomegranate, cherry and strawberry joined together to create the ultimate superfruit. They’re super high in vitamin C and antioxidants too.
Unfortunately it’s only in season for a few weeks in early June, so when you see them make sure to buy them.
Like many berries, you can always freeze them for later use. Wash them well, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure they’re not touching and freeze for 2-4 hours before transferring them to a ziplock bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for 6 months, not that they’ll last that long! There’s so many yummy things that you can do with Yang Mei!
While the Chinese enjoy their Yang Mei soaked in gross Chinese wine called baijiu or dried, I couldn’t resist making Yang Mei Sauce that’s going to taste scrumptious drizzled over pancakes, basted on grilled chicken and added to a fruit spritzer.
There’s a little pit in the middle of the berry that you’ll need to squeeze out. A total pain and it’ll stain your hands purple but it’s so worth the effort! Feel free to suck on the seeds while your pitting them. A little bonus for your hardwork! Since I’m making a sauce, I just pushed out the seed causing the berry to crush. If you want to showcase the actual fruit for a tart or a chunky jam, just cut the fruit around the pit.
*A note… Plan on using them right away as they’ll go bad within a few days even if you place them in the refrigerator.*
Yields 3 cups
If you're lucky enough to try Yang Mei it'll become your favourite berry ever! Pour Yang Mei Sauce over grilled chicken, cheesecake and yogurt or add it to your favourite Spritzer for a refreshing tatte explosion!
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 2.5 cups (1 kilo) Yang Mei
- 2.5 cups Sugar
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- Use your hands to push out the pits of the berries.
- In a heavy bottom pot, boil the Yang Mei for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add sugar boil 3 more, stirring constantly.
- Pour 1/4 cup Yang Mei juices into a bowl with the cornstarch. Whisk until smooth, then pour into the pot, whisking constantly for 5 minutes.
- Funnel into sterilized jars.
- Flip upside down to seal.
- Makes 3 cups